The French Parliament has approved a law aimed at fighting Islamic extremism and separatism by banning Muslim hate preachers and giving police the power to close Islamic religious schools. Foreign funding of mosques will also be prohibited. Now, the bill will move on to the Senate where the Center-Right majority virtually assures its passage and implementation.
Daily Mail (h/t Chris B) France’s lower house voted on Tuesday in favour of the law billed by the government as a riposte to religious groups attempting to undermine the secular state.
The draft legislation, which has been criticised for stigmatising Muslims and giving the state new powers to limit speech and religious groups, was backed by a clear majority of MPs in the National Assembly.
President Emmanuel Macron‘s centrist party rallied around the law, with 347 National Assembly lawmakers voting in favor, 151 against and 65 abstaining.
Amid concerns about the funding of mosques by Turkey, Qatar or Saudi Arabia, it requires religious groups to declare large foreign donations and have their accounts certified.
The government confirms that the threat is real, pointing to repeated terror attacks and what Macron called the development of a ‘counter-society’ that rejects secularism, equality and other French values and laws.
Over the past week, a school teacher in a tough suburb southwest of Paris has come to national prominence over claims he needed police protection after receiving death threats for denouncing local Islamic extremists.
Right-wing parties see him as a whistleblower warning about the danger of extremist groups, while those on the left have pointed to his provocative statements about Islam and accuse him of overstating the threat.
His case was picked up in the national media because of its echoes of the beheading of a school teacher, Samuel Paty, by a teenage Islamist last October that profoundly shocked the country.
Paty was the subject of an online hate campaign started by a parent of a child at his school who objected to his showing of controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed during a civics class about free speech. Paty’s killing prompted the inclusion of a new crime in the draft law of disclosing personal information about someone while knowing it will put the person in danger.
In the wake of Paty’s killing, the government used its existing powers to close several mosques and two leading Muslim organisations, the charity Baraka City and the Collective Against Islamophobia in France.
Not surprisingly, Muslims and their useful idiots on the Left are horrified by this bill which they claim unfairly stigmatizes Muslims.